Personalities

Find out what Asia’s movers and shakers are up to ­– and how they spend their private time 
  1. The widow of a slain pro-Islamic State (Isis) Filipino leader, Omar Maute, whose group seized control of Marawi city in southern Philippines in 2017, has been freed from prison. Indonesian Minhati Madrais, 39, was married to Omar Khayyam Maute of the pro-Isis Maute Group, which he led together with his brother Abdullah Maute. Remnants of the Maute Group are believed to be waiting for her release from jail as she holds the key to their financing. “Minhati was freed very recently and she is…
  2. With 4 million Facebook followers and a glowing reputation as a life coach belying his 29 years, social media influencer Sean Buranahiran was a golden boy of the Thai internet. That was until he made a few throwaway comments flattering a former general who still plays a key role in the kingdom’s polarised politics. Thailand’s booming social media industry, where stars can make millions in months Not only did it turn fans against him in their droves – he lost about 70,000 subscribers from his…
  3. More than 600 people turned up at two anti-racism protests in South Australia over the weekend, amid a rising wave of racist attacks on the Asian-Australian community.The protests at Rundle Mall in the centre of Adelaide came two days after Adelaide police found and arrested a 21-year-old white man who physically assaulted a 19-year-old Chinese delivery rider, following efforts by the Asian-Australian community to hunt down the culprits.Demonstrators at the peaceful events, organised by the…
  4. When Vivian came across the Free Conversations movement in Barcelona earlier this year, she started thinking about how to bring it to Hong Kong.The city she calls home had been engulfed by months of anti-government demonstrations, several clashes between protesters and the police, and thousands of arrests.“The year-long anti-extradition law [movement] has got me rethinking the art of communication,” says Vivian, a 24-year-old teacher, referring to the now withdrawn piece of legislation that…
  5. Authorities in Malaysia’s southern Johor state on Friday said they had crippled a major people-smuggling syndicate which is believed to have brought some 43,000 people in and out of the country with the help of corrupt police officers, immigration personnel and soldiers, resulting in 122 arrests. Inspector-General of Police Ahmad Hamid Bador described the rogue security officers as “treasonous” and said they had enabled “thousands of migrants to breach” the country’s borders. As Malaysia…
  6. Park Won-soon, the three-term mayor of South Korea’s capital found dead on Friday, was a vocal supporter of China, offering solidarity with Beijing during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. He was also a fierce critic of his own country’s economic inequality and was considered a potential presidential candidate in 2022.Police said Park’s body was found near a restaurant nestled in wooded hills stretching across northern Seoul after a more than seven-hour search involving hundreds of…
  7. The deaths of an Indian father and son in police custody last month that drew parallels to the killing of George Floyd in the United States has sparked debate in India over law enforcement accountability, with activists calling for immediate police reform.Bennicks Emmanuel, 31, and his 59-year-old father Jayaraj were arrested on June 19 for keeping their mobile phone accessories shop open past the permitted hours in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where a coronavirus lockdown was in place…
  8. The mother of Hana Kimura, the star of Japanese reality TV show Terrace House who killed herself in May after becoming the target of online bullies, has accused producers of encouraging friction and confrontation between cast members to propel ratings.Kyoko Kimura, 43, told the Asahi newspaper she wanted “people to know the truth” and to restore her daughter’s honour. She also said she may file a compensation suit against Fuji Television Network, which produced the popular Netflix programme…
  9. Chinese-Australians have banded together to help police hunt down two white men who hit an Asian delivery rider in Adelaide’s Chinatown on Saturday, as vigilantism among the Asian-Australian community grows in the face of rising racist attacks. A video of the attack, published on social media and by various Asian media groups such as Jackfroot, shows the two white men – one carrying a dog – approach an Asian food delivery rider on a stationary electric bike. One of the men walks past the…
  10. Attracted by the low cost of living and good telecommunications, digital nomads, or people who earn a living by working remotely, have been flocking to Southeast Asia for years.Many who have chosen this lifestyle say the advantages such as the change of scenery and freedom far outweigh any inconveniences like attending online meetings in different time zones.But when borders started closing after the coronavirus outbreak, many travellers headed to the safety of their home countries. The five…